Georg Lassen

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Georg Lassen
File:Georg Lassen.jpg
Born (1915-05-12)12 May 1915
Berlin-Steglitz, German Empire
Died 18 January 2012(2012-01-18) (aged 96)[1]
Mallorca, Spain
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Kriegsmarine
Years of service 1935–45
Rank Korvettenkapitän
Unit 2nd U-boat Flotilla
24th U-boat Flotilla
4th U-boat Flotilla
10th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-29, 3 January 1941 – 14 September 1941 (Training)
U-160, 16 October 1941 – 14 June 1943 (4 patrols)
1. U-Boot-Lehrdivision July 1944–May 1945
Battles/wars Battle of the Atlantic
Awards U-boat War Badge
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Georg Lassen (12 May 1915 – 18 January 2012)[1] was a German U-boat commander who served with Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II rising to the rank of Korvettenkapitän (corvette captain) . He was a Watch Officer on U-29 at the outbreak of the war and later the skipper of the U-160 and winner of the Iron Cross. He sank 26 ships for a total of 156,082 gross register tons (GRT) during 4 patrols, leading to a remarkable average of 39,020 GRT per patrol. His total tonnage made him the 10th most successful U-boat ace of the war.


Lassen was born in Steglitz, a Berlin suburb. He joined the Kriegsmarine as Seekadett on 25 September 1935. When World War II started, Lassen was an Oberleutnant zur See and serving as I. Wachoffizier (1st Watch Officer) on U-29 under Kapitänleutnant Otto Schuhart. While serving with U-29 Schuhart sank 13 ships, including the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. On 3 January 1941 Lassen assumed command over the U-29, which served as a training boat in 24th U-boat Flotilla by this time. He ended his command on 14 September.

On 16 October 1941 Lassen commissioned the Type IXC U-Uboat U-160. Lassen spent about four months training the crew and testing the boat with 4th U-boat Flotilla, before U-160 became operational and was transferred to 10th U-boat Flotilla on 1 March 1942.

U-160 left on her first patrol in early March 1942. During this patrol Lassen sank or damaged six ships for a total of 43,560 GRT. On 10 August 1942 he received the Ritterkreuz. On 1 September he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant. On his fourth and final patrol to South African waters in March 1943 he sank or damaged six ships in less than 5 hours for a total of 41,076 GRT during the night between 3 March and 4 March. On 8 March 1943 he sank the SS James B. Stephens and on 9 March he received a radio message awarding him with the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves). On 14 June 1943 Lassen was transferred away from U-160 to take up duties as a tactics instructor and commander of the "Offiziers-kompanie" in 1. U-Boot-Lehrdivision, a training unit for future U-boat commanders. On 1 April 1945 he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän.

On 15 April 1945, Lassen took command of the Pretoria, then a converted hospital ship. The ship transported 2,000 wounded and 200 refugees, and also the coffins of Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and his wife, and the regimental colors from the Tannenberg Memorial from Pillau, present-day Baltiysk, Poland, to Stettin, present-day Szczecin, Poland.[2]

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As a U-boat commander of U-160 Lassen is credited with the sinking of 26 ships for a total of 156,082 gross register tons (GRT) and further damaging five ships of 34,419 GRT.

Date Name Nationality Tonnage
27 March 1942 Equipoise  Panama 6,210 Sunk
29 March 1942 City of New York  United States 8,272 Sunk
1 April 1942 Rio Blanco  United Kingdom 4,086 Sunk
6 April 1942 Bidwell  United States 6,837 Damaged
9 April 1942 Malchace  United States 3,516 Sunk
11 April 1942 Ulysses  United Kingdom 14,647 Sunk
16 July 1942 Beaconlight  Panama 6,926 Sunk
18 July 1942 Carmona  Panama 5,496 Sunk
21 July 1942 Donovonia  United Kingdom 8,149 Sunk
25 July 1942 Telamon  Netherlands 2,078 Sunk
29 July 1942 Prescodoc  Canada 1,938 Sunk
2 August 1942 Treminnard  United Kingdom 4,694 Sunk
4 August 1942 Havsten  Norway 6,161 Damaged
9 October 1942 Coloradan  United States 6,557 Sunk
16 October 1942 Castle Harbour  United Kingdom 730 Sunk
16 October 1942 Winona  United States 6,197 Damaged
3 November 1942 Chr. J. Kampmann  Canada 2,260 Sunk
3 November 1942 Gypsum Express  United Kingdom 4,034 Sunk
3 November 1942 Leda  Panama 8,546 Sunk
3 November 1942 Thorshavet  Norway 11,015 Sunk
6 November 1942 Arica  United Kingdom 5,431 Sunk
11 November 1942 City of Ripon  United Kingdom 6,368 Sunk
21 November 1942 Bintang  Netherlands 6,481 Sunk
8 February 1943 Roger B. Taney  United States 7,191 Sunk
3 March 1943 Harvey W. Scott  United States 7,176 Sunk
3 March 1943 Nipura  United Kingdom 5,961 Sunk
3 March 1943 Tibia  Netherlands 10,356 Damaged
3 March 1943 Nipura  United Kingdom 5,961 Sunk
3 March 1943 Empire Mahseer  United Kingdom 5,087 Sunk
4 March 1943 Marietta E.  United Kingdom 7,628 Sunk
4 March 1943 Sheaf Crown  United Kingdom 4,868 Damaged
8 March 1943 James B. Stephens  United States 7,176 Sunk
11 March 1943 Aelbryn  United Kingdom 4,986 Sunk


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Tuesday, 14 April 1942 Bei den Erfolgen im Atlantik zeichneten sich die Unterseeboote des Kapitänleutnants Hardegen und des Oberleutnants zur See Lassen besonders aus.[8] In the successes in the Atlantic, the submarines of Kapitänleutnant Hardegen and of Oberleutnant zur See Lassen particularly distinguished themselves.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Helgason, Guðmundur. "Georg Lassen". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 25 February 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Stockert 1997, p. 19.
  3. Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-160". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 7 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 234.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 235.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Thomas 1998, p. 14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Scherzer 2007, p. 495.
  8. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, p. 86.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Stockert, Peter (1997). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 3 (in German). Bad Friedrichshall, Germany: Friedrichshaller Rundblick. ISBN 978-3-932915-01-7. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 2, 1. Januar 1942 bis 31. Dezember 1943 (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Georg Lassen". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 25 February 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>